In recent years, Macao has been developing as a world tourism and leisure centre. With the entrance of numerous international hotel brands and the accommodation of more and more exhibitions and events of ever enlarging scales in Macao, the demand for tourism professionals has continued to increase. In the academic year 2012/13, a total of 1,575 students are currently enrolled in our daytime and evening bachelor degree programmes. In order to cope with the development of the industry, the Institute started to offer Culinary Arts Management bachelor degree programme in the academic year 2011/12. Moreover, with the aim to cultivate high-quality talents for the tourism and hospitality industry and to provide learning opportunities for working adults, the Institute has been offering a variety of certificate, diploma, short-term and other programmes leading to international qualifications. Last year, 18,180 participants enrolled in these programmes.

IFT is committed to creating an international learning atmosphere. During their studies here, students have the opportunities to participate in exchange programmes at reputable institutions overseas for a semester or a year. They may also opt to perform internships at overseas organisations and companies. Meanwhile, IFT’s team of teaching members and industry professionals from 15 countries and regions is dedicated to providing guidance as well as theoretical and practical knowledge to enrich students’ learning. Every year, renowned scholars and experts are also invited to give lectures to further broaden our students’ views.

To promote economic diversification, the Macao SAR Government encourages the development of the cultural and creative industries. In the past two years, IFT has launched a number of training programmes in the field. At the beginning of this year, comprising the essences of creative arts and information technology, IFT launched a series of courses including photography, graphic design, multimedia creation, souvenir design and production, and floral design.

For academic research, the IFT Tourism Research Centre at the Institute undertakes research work for various government departments, providing important reference points for tourism development of Macao. Being appointed to sit in various government committees, including Tourism Development Committee, Cultural Industry Committee, Public Services Evaluation Committee and Convention & Exhibition Development Committee, the Institute has been active in providing suggestions to the government through these channels.

IFT always encourages students to participate in cultural and recreational activities for their all-round development. In April this year, the Student Chapter of PATA Macau Chapter was officially established, with IFT students taking up the positions of president and committee members. It is hoped that local university students can be more participative in international tourism events and be more actively involved in the tourism development of Macao. IFT students have also made remarkable achievements in numerous sports competitions. Accomplishments include silver medal of men's 100m breaststroke in the National University Games, champion of 2012 Macao University Students Volleyball men's and women's Championship and a series of winning awards in the 2011/12 Macao University Students Swimming Championships. On the other hand, IFT has been offering various extracurricular activities, such as Portuguese folk dance, dragon boat, sketching, photography, fencing, taekwondo and debate classes, hoping that students can have more chances to be engaged in new things and to expand their network.

The success of these projects is primarily attributed to the tremendous support of the Macao SAR Government, tourism industry and particularly the organisations and community leaders who generously provide scholarships to our students.  We are also deeply indebted to all staff and students for their hard work.  Your support is the driving force for our progress. We will continue to endeavour to cultivate more talents for Macao.

Dr. Fanny Vong